By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Medicare enrollment is underway until Monday, December 7th, and in some areas there are dozens of supplemental insurance plans to choose from. Figuring out which plans meet any one person’s needs can be very overwhelming. That is where the State Health Assistance Program, SHIP, run by the Denver Regional Council of Governments, DRCOG, come in.

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“It is really important to sort through the plans to find the one that will best suit your needs, whether that’s for your healthcare co-pays and costs, or for your prescription drug coverage. Not every plan covers things the same, doesn’t cover the same medications, the same doctors and so on. So it is really important to sort through it, and narrow it down so you can find the right fit for you,” said Lauren Bell, a counselor with SHIP.

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Volunteer counselors are trained to answer questions and determine which plans cover what, so that the caller get to choose from the plans that are best suited for them.

“This year the prescription drug plan premiums have been reduced by about 34-percent overall, so you’ll see a lot of prices are going down for those. Now that being said, a lower premium doesn’t always mean it covers your prescriptions the best, so it is important to sort those out, and figure out what is the best for you. And that’s where SHIP can help with that,” Bell explained.

(credit: CBS)

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As Medicare recipients get older and their healthcare needs change, SHIP is a great resource for finding new plans. The counselors also answer Medicare questions all year long.

“I think another thing to think about this year, that’s pretty important, is how COVID-19 could affect your healthcare unexpectedly. You know, you might not utilize your healthcare right now, but if you do have a diagnosis of COVID-19 there is a chance that you could be hospitalized or different prescriptions that you didn’t need in the  past, so planning for that unexpected is really important this year,” Bell told CBS4.

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The number to call to get help with Medicare benefits is 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227 or go to the SHIP Website.

Libby Smith